In early childhood development, the speech and the language plays an important role as both are interconnected and are a means of communication and transferring roads for knowledge. This article will reveal the difference between speech and language, delayed speech effects, causes and how it can be treatment.
Speech: The expression of or the ability to express thoughts and feelings by articulate sounds.
Language: The method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.
It is observed that children begin to slowly utter the syllables in the first 6 months, and after 12 months they express words. By 18 months their vocabulary evolves, as they begin to bring together two words at about 24 months. However, it is important to remember that speaking does not develop at the same rate for every child. Every child learns to speak at their own pace, their first words in different months, setting up their first phrases. However, there is a ratio for toddlers who cannot complete the expected speech development until the age of 3 years so-called speech delay.
The delay in speech development occurs when the language of a child develops in the right order, but at a slower pace. Delayed speech or slow language development is the most common developmental problem seen in children and affects the ability of children to understand, write, and read. This may create problems in communication as well.
Difficulty in communication produces frustration. When we try to say something and we cannot express ourselves, or others can not seem to understand us, we feel disappointed and even angry, the more important the message, the greater our anger.
When a child cannot make them self understood, they get frustrated. It is common for language delay to produce behavioral problems. If we do not understand what they want, it is not uncommon for them to bite or hit because they do not know how to control their frustration.
Causes of speech delay:
Speaking can be the main factor that enables good language development. When problems are experienced, language development can be delayed and even lost. There are different aspects that can cause alterations and delay in a child’s speech development like:
A child responds to whatever they hear. For language development, it is necessary to make sure that the child does not have any auditory sense loss. For example, silent letters are composed of high-frequency sounds, and the ability of the child’s hearing to reach these frequencies adversely affects learning language.
It is another important cause for speech delay. Due to anatomic disorders in speech organs, cleft lip and cleft palate children cannot use speech-related organs comfortably and may give up trying, or they may not be able to make a sound.
Often children stop talking and communicating due to deaf-mute parents, child abuse or neglect etc.
Language development delays due to child’s mental retardation or inadequacy. Children with inadequate mental functions are not only linguistic but also many other cognitive domains.
- They do not have problems understanding, but they cannot express themselves when speaking
- They can emit sounds or groups of sounds, but do not know how to order them or differentiate them within a word
- They intend to communicate, although at times they may feel inhibited if the family, school or play context does not accompany them
- They have difficulty in pronouncing certain sounds; speak as if they were smaller; they omit phonemes or parts of the word
- They may have reduced vocabulary to the objects of their environment and it is difficult for them to learn abstract concepts. Colors, shapes, spatial concepts – inside / outside, up / down, now, then, tomorrow, afternoon etc
- They may find difficulty in incorporating the use of articles, pronouns, and plurals and badly conjugate the verb tenses
- They are unable to use subordinate phrases and replace them with coordinates linked by the conjunction “and”.
- They rarely use language to explain their imagination and keep silent
- They may fail to understand what others are saying to them
- They must be devoid of confidence due to the lack of language skills
It is important to identify speech/language problems early so that treatment can start early. You being parents must observe the speech pattern of your children from the start, and if your child has any form of delay then you must go for the required treatment, unless and until it breaks your child’s confidence. In the prognosis of language and speech disorders, the specialist first learns and evaluates the child’s daily routine after a thorough interview with the parents. In this assessment, both the auditory (understanding of the spoken) and verbal (spoken expression) is determined at the age interval. Children with delayed speech and language disorders need special therapy like:
Talking Therapy – this is done by met cognitive methods aimed not only to help the child overcome the problem of the motor ability of speech, but also improve the ability of self-awareness of child, phonological awareness.
Reading Therapy – using met cognitive methods will train not only the child’s ability to recognize letters and reading, but also the ability to comprehend.
Writing Therapy – to fine motor functions and make them able to coordinate their attention with memory function. A child who cannot maintain his attention is generally difficult to write well.
Some parenting tips also help in language development:
- Start talking to your child from the very first day as newborns are constantly listening
- React to your baby’s instincts
- Listen to your child and give him time to answer
- Encourage storytelling and sharing
- Make good reading habits; read short story books and arrange colorful books for them
- Allow them to watch TV as it enhances their listening ability
- Sing songs with them to boost their memory
- Plan family and outdoor excursions. It will be interesting for them to talk about their new experiences before, during, and after the tour
- Look at family photos and talk about their experiences
- Respond to your child in every conversation and reward them for these conversations
- Allow your child to ask as many questions as they can. This will enhance their knowledge and memory
- Use the body movements along with the words to develop co-ordination skill
- Give them toys and games and ask them their interests
- Do not criticize linguistic errors. Instead, just model good language knowledge
- Go for the best schools that focus on overall child development and foster their love for reading, writing and speaking
As we know, the ability to speak a language and communication is the basis of the formation of social relationships with the outside world. A child will be considered ready to enter the world if he can communicate well. Therefore, at Kinder Academy, we are organizing Reading Enrichment Programs to overcome linguistic errors and delayed speech in toddlers. We have hired a Speech Therapist, doctors and language instructors who will meet each child individually to work on his or her overall personality and speech development. Toddlers suffering from dyslexia are also welcome.
Developmental dyslexia also called a specific disorder of reading, is a disorder of neurobiological development that compromises the ability to learn to perform smoothly and effortlessly all the mental operations necessary to read: recognize individual letters, syllables or words, and associate them with the corresponding sounds.